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Edesix will showcase how BWCs can tackle abusive and criminal behaviour at Railtex 2017. Sadly, both verbal and physical attacks onboard UK trains and surrounding station areas are on the rise. The British Transport Police recently reported almost 3,000 instances over a twelve-month period, with common assaults soaring by over 39 per cent in the past five years. Many are blaming rail staff cuts for the increase in abuse, but it’s clear that more has to be done to protect both rail staff and members of the public.

Richie McBride, managing director of Edesix, who now provide body worn cameras to a number of rail providers throughout the UK, says that body worn cameras are a proven way of tackling abuse for rail operators.

He explains: “Body cams have been proven to change the behaviour of the public toward officers to a significant extent, helping to calm potentially aggressive confrontations and reducing incidents of violence. Also, not all stations have CCTV in place, and even where there are fixed cameras, body cams provide operators with the flexibility to move through the station and get on and off trains knowing there are no gaps in the coverage they can achieve.”

One provider who has utilised Edesix’s body worn cameras for a number of years now is Northern Rail. The company has 4,900 employees providing nearly 2,500 local and regional train services every weekday, making it the largest train operator in the UK. Its Rail Response Team provides a visible presence on the rail network, improving personal safety and security for passengers and staff. When considering adopting body worn cameras, it needed a flexible, easy to adopt and unobtrusive solution to help tackle abusive and criminal behaviour on the rail network.

VideoBadge immediately stood out from other body worn video products for its compact and simple design. The self-contained unit requires no cabling or additional attachments and is lightweight. It fits securely to clothing at chest level, giving maximum field of vision at all times with no inconvenience to the operator.

Recorded footage is encrypted and securely processed using the included VideoManager software, ensuring user access and data protection controls are enforced. Evidence can easily be exported as video clips or stills if required and non-evidential footage deleted after a specified period of time.

Northern Rail’s Head of Crime, Martyn Guiver, commented of the cameras: “VideoBadge helps us deter criminal behaviour on our rail network, improves the quality of the service we provide to the public and offers operational benefits beyond evidence capture."